Business is booming, and your company is beginning to grow. Or maybe turnover of bad hires has left gaps in your talent base. Whatever the reason may be, it’s time for you to add new employees to your payroll. For many small business owners, the processes of hiring new employees is anything but exciting. When you are already multi-tasking the numerous responsibilities for core business development, staffing can often feel daunting. Here are five best practices for ensuring your hiring process is as smooth as possible.
1. Establish a Clear Job Description
While it may seem obvious, many employers do not take the time to clearly define the specific roles they expect their employees to play. The generic last bullet of all job descriptions, “all other tasks as required” is often used as a catch-all for an otherwise vague description. Prospective employees need to know up front what is required before accepting the job, and you need to know what skills will be necessary for the placement to be a success.
2. Involve Your Team
Many small business leaders assume all of the pressure of selecting the right employee. But by including other key staff members in the hiring decision, you can empower your existing employees and monitor their interaction with the applicants throughout the interview process. Knowing your employees are comfortable with the person they may work with is extremely important for maintaining a positive workplace dynamic.
3. Make Attitude a Priority
Personality clashes can cause tremendous set-backs in productivity and morale, particularly in small business settings. Knowing the culture of your business and how a candidate will fit in is imperative. Even the most skilled individual can cause major setbacks if he or she cannot blend well with the rest of your team. Seek out applicants who demonstrate flexibility, positivity, and a willingness to learn in addition to the right education or employment background.
4. Stop Talking
We have all been guilty of spending more time talking than listening. But when you are conducting an interview, allowing your candidate to do the majority of the talking is key. Ask open-ended questions that require the applicants to divulge more about their personality and work history. You will be amazed—or perhaps frightened—by some of the things people willingly offer up in an interview when you give them the floor to speak.
5. Replicate a Day in the Life of the Open Position
What better way to see how applicants will perform than to immerse them into the environment in which they will be working? Asking applicants to describe how they would respond in specific scenarios can provide great insight. You might also consider hands-on experiences for select candidates to “test run” the position.
There are a number of other best practices to follow during the hiring process. By doing your homework, you can significantly improve your ability to identify the right candidate for your company. And if you still don’t feel confident in the process or simply don’t have time to do it right, relying on Professional Recruiting firms can be a great answer. Not only are they experts in identifying the right talent pool from which to pull from, they also specialize in the entire hiring process, including advertising open positions, conducting interviews, and processing background checks. And these firms often employ the selected applicant for up to the first six months, alleviating you from the risks associated with a bad hire.
A Bad Hire Can be Costly
After arriving five or ten minutes late and taking another ten or fifteen minutes to settle into the day with a warm cup of coffee, everyone’s favorite employee has finally arrived. He’s the life of the office, full of stories and gossip, but empty of any real productivity or commitment to his assigned tasks.
You know who we’re talking about. Maybe you even feel a little guilty because you were responsible for hiring him, but what can you do now? Terminating him sounds great until reality hits you. Finding a replacement will not only take more time, energy, and expense, it may also result in hiring yet another sub-standard employee. After all, as a small company with no dedicated HR group, you are playing in the hiring stock market. Gleaning an employee’s potential based on résumés, cover letters, and brief interviews is limiting and provides little opportunity to really know who you are hiring.
Selecting the wrong candidate for employment with your company can be costly. Lost productivity is a primary concern in this situation and involves not only the ineffective hire but also those who work with or supervise him. The added time required to manage the employee and the resulting concerns of his colleagues often lead to poor morale in the work place. Consequently, quality of products and services may decrease, resulting in dissatisfied customers, which dramatically impacts your reputation and your bottom line.
Terminating the employee and back filling the position isn’t always an ideal solution either. While your employee may not be performing at the highest level, he is likely contributing something. With so many companies working with minimal manpower, even the slightest transfer of job tasks, even temporarily, can be overwhelming to remaining staff. Finding a replacement to minimize this burden often takes weeks or even months, not including the time required for onboarding and training activities. The added expense of advertising the position, conducting interviews, and running background checks, as well as any fees associated with the termination, such as severance, unemployment, or legal fees, can all make the choice to dismiss the individual even less appealing.
So what should you do about a bad hire? The best answer is to not make one in the first place. Of course, hiring the ideal person is easier said than done. The most efficient way to identify the right employee for your company is to use a professional recruiting or staffing firm. The right recruiting firm will provide a comprehensive hiring solution, not only advertising and screening quality candidates for you, but also retaining the selected candidate on their payroll for a period of up to six months. This will allow you to determine if the employee is indeed the right fit, and shifts the associated risks and costs of termination to the professional firm.
While there are costs associated with using a professional firm, the cost of hiring the wrong person can be significantly higher. An experienced recruiting specialist will follow proven measures for assessing candidates and greatly reduce the possibility of your company hiring another office dunce.
Gorman Recruiting: What’s New
Kyle Gorman Interviewed by Regional ABC Station
Gorman Recruiting General Manager Kyle Gorman was recently interviewed by regional ABC affiliate WEHT on their Local Lifestyles program.